Since 1978, CPSC has reports of 49 incidents (including 13 deaths) in which people's hair was sucked into the suction fitting of a spa, hot tub, or whirlpool, causing the victim's head to be held under water. Hair entanglement occurs when a bather's hair becomes entangled in a drain cover as the water and hair are drawn through the drain. CPSC helped develop a voluntary standard for drain covers that reduce the risk of hair entanglement.
The CPSC offers the following safety tips when using a hot tub, spa, or whirlpool:
- Always use a locked safety cover when the spa is not in use and keep young children away from spas or hot tubs unless there is constant adult supervision.
- Make sure the spa has the dual drains and drain covers required by current safety standards.
- Regularly have a professional check your spa or hot tub and make sure it is in good, safe working condition, and that drain covers are in place and not cracked or missing. Check the drain covers yourself throughout the year.
- Know where the cut-off switch for your pump is so you can turn it off in an emergency.
- Be aware that consuming alcohol while using a spa could lead to drowning.
- Keep the temperature of the water in the spa at 104 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission protects the public from the unreasonable risk of injury or death from 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury and for information on CPSC's fax-on-demand service, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270. To order a press release through fax-on-demand, call (301) 504-0051 from the handset of your fax machine and enter the release number. Consumers can obtain this release and recall information via Internet gopher services at cpsc.gov or report product hazards to email@example.com.